Chapter 12: "Captive"
At Heero's barked warning, Wufei threw his arms up
instinctively to protect his head from the expected explosion. Breath
left his lungs in a grunt as Heero hurled himself at him, throwing them
both off of the bed and onto the floor, covering Wufei's body with his
There was a thud as Duo rolled off his own bed,
followed by his sharp shout. "Tear gas!"
Wufei finally noticed the faint hissing noise coming
from the grenade and took in a quick breath of clean air as the room
began to fill rapidly with smoke.
Heero was already scrambling to his feet, dragging
Wufei up by the arm with sheer strength. "Out!" he shouted. There was
a gun in his other hand, and Wufei wondered in the back of his mind
where the hell it had come from. But Heero was already hauling him
towards the door, Duo stumbling after them, holding the collar of his shirt
over his nose and mouth as his eyes watered profusely.
Wufei opened his mouth reflexively to order Heero to
stop man-handling him, and gave a wracking cough as the smoke entered
his lungs. He gave a shout of pain and surprise as the gas did its
work; his eyes felt as if they were burning out of his skull, and his lungs
were on fire. He covered his face with his hands, struggling to
breathe through the coughs, no longer resisting as he blindly allowed Heero
to steer him towards the door and then shove him into the hallway.
Duo hurried after them and slammed the door shut.
"Shit," he managed to gasp between coughs. "Left the... bags in
"No-!" Wufei sputtered, trying to push past them to
get back in the room. His bag-- it had everything in it. The dragon
cloth, the strange stick his mother had given him, the short dirk he'd
brought for self-protection... Everything.
"Leave it," Heero snapped. "They've found us. We
need to go. Now." He still had a firm grip on Wufei's elbow, and used
it to propel the other boy towards the stairs.
Wufei blinked fiercely, trying to clear his vision
as his body shook with coughs. His head felt like it was going to
explode, his lungs felt like they were on fire, and the only thing keeping
him from throwing up all over the place was his own stubborness. He
tried to wrench his arm away from Heero, stumbling over his own feet. He
could barely see the hall around him, and reached up with his free arm
to rub the tears from his face. "Unhand me, Yuy," he gasped before
going into another coughing fit.
He couldn't see if Heero's face was as messed up as
his own through the stinging clouds and tears in his eyes, but Heero
didn't seem to be coughing as much as him and Duo. "Be quiet," he said
tightly, pulling Wufei along in long strides, almost running. He was
practically walking sideways, gun pointed back towards their room. Duo
jogged along behind him, coughing and squinting all around them as he
retrieved a throwing knife from a sheath up his sleeve. "Duo, you go
ahead. Start the car. Meet us out back."
"Right," Duo wheezed, squeezing past them and
dashing down the stairs.
When they reached the stairwell and Heero booted
open the door, the breath of fresh night air was like a cooling balm on
Wufei's face, and he gasped in relief. "Don't rub it," Heero reprimanded
when Wufei reached for his face again. "You need to wash your face.
Just quit struggling and let me get you to the car. You can be a
stubborn ass once we're out of here."
Wufei squinted furiously, trying to make out Heero's
face as they stumbled down the steps. Whatever retort he'd been about
to say, however, was lost on him when he made out the blurry form
shifting in the shadows behind Heero, coming down from the floor above. The
breath he took to shout a warning almost made him convulse with coughs
again, and his voice came out strained. "Behind you!"
Heero whipped around, but evidently the gas had done
at least some damage. Before he could focus on the threat through
smarting eyes, their attacker had seized Heero's wrist and wrenched the arm
aside, aiming the gun harmlessly towards the stairs. Heero's trigger
finger flexed instinctively, and the shot ringing out, echoing in the
stone stairwell, made Wufei jump.
"Go!" Heero shouted, grappling with the bigger man.
"Get to the car--"
Wufei hesitated, loathe to turn tail and run. But
there was no way he could see to help; the stairwell was too narrow.
There was no way to get around Heero, and with that gun waving around,
he'd probably only end up getting shot. There was a sharp crack, and the
man Heero was wrestling with gave a howl of pain. Heero had broken the
other man's arm.
He can handle himself, Wufei reminded himself
fiercely. Get to the goddamn car. Duo's got to have another gun in there
somewhere. He turned blindly and stumbled down the stairs, coming close
to twisting his ankle several times. He had to resist the urge to
scrub at his burning eyes. It was nearly impossible to see, and the
darkness wasn't making it any better.
He reached the ground level and raced around the
side of the building towards the back, hoping there was nothing in his
path, because he wouldn't be able to see it until he'd already tripped
Hurried motion from his left caught his eye, and he
could vaguely make out a human form leaping for him, arms wide and
grabbing. His target was big, which made seeing him a little easier.
Ducking to avoid the arms, he drove a hard fist
upwards, hoping to strike something solid. He managed to clip the man's
jaw, earning him a moment's respite, but before he could even start
running again, hands were on him, nails digging into his bare shoulders and
dragging him backwards. He kicked backwards fiercely, and his attacker
shrieked as he made painful contact with the man's kneecap. But
already someone else was coming up on his other side, taking advantage of his
temporary blindness to seize his arms. The man behind him, slobbering
painful curses, wrapped a burly arm around Wufei's throat in a
headlock, and Wufei's wracking cough worsened. Through the stinging tears
clouding his eyes, he barely even recognized the fist coming at him until
it struck him full in the face and slammed him into blissful
"Yaagh!!" Wufei's hands flew to his eyes in shocked
pain. He couldn't see anything with the grit in his eyes, and tears
began to fall in earnest as his body fought to clear his vision.
An instant later a foot took advantage of his
temporary blindness by connecting solidly with his stomach, sending him
crashing onto his back, the air driven from his lungs.
He heard motion to his left, an angry shout.
"That's dirty! He can't--"
But Master's voice was already barking out sternly,
"That's enough, Zhao! Stand down!"
Wufei managed to push himself painfully into a
sitting position, glad the dirt thrown into his eyes would provide a good
excuse for the tears of hot anger he felt pricking his eyes. "Bastard,"
he gasped, still trying to rub the grit from his vision. "I'll get you
"Yeah, sure," came his opponent's snide comeback.
Squinting, Wufei could just barely make out the form of the other boy,
standing a few feet in front of him with hands on his hips. Probably
gloating, as usual. He was an older kid, older than Wufei by four years.
Most kids his age seemed to think it was beneath them to spar with the
"little kids", but Zhao could never resist the chance to make Wufei
look like an idiot.
Pattering feet, and then small but strong hands on
his wrists, trying to keep his hands from his face. "You'll just make
it worse," came a familiar voice. "You'll rub it in. Stop it."
"Leggo," Wufei snapped, trying to pull his hands
away. "An' go away. You're not allowed in the ring."
"You're not fighting anymore," came the
infuriatingly calm reply.
Wufei could hear the Master berating Zhao,
reprimanding him on his use of such an underhanded trick in the midst of an
honorable fight, and couldn't stop the grin of satisfaction that spread on
"Stop that," his friend said immediately. "Zhao
already hates your guts. If he catches you laughing at him, he'll really
kick your butt. Stay here. I'll get water for your eyes."
Wufei blinked carefully, striving to see the
familiar face of his friend. Dust and dirt clouded his vision, making it
impossible to see anything other than the vague outline of the other child.
"Yeah, yeah. Don't be such a nag.. Heero."
A splash of cold water to the face roused Wufei at
last. He shifted, feeling consciousness slowly seep back-- along with
pain. His lip felt swollen-- split, most likely, from that hit to the
face. And his nose was so numb he was afraid it might be broken. His
throat felt raw from coughing so much, and he could already tell from
the itching in his sockets that opening his eyes would be painful. He
tried to move, and felt a thread of alarm trickle up his spine.
He couldn't move his arms. His hands were tied
behind his back, he realized. He was lying sideways on something vaguely
soft, and everything seemed to be moving. It made his stomach roil in
protest. There were voices, too, none of them familiar.
"I think he's coming to."
"Pull him up."
A hard hand on his shoulder tugged at him, pulling
him into a sitting position, and he finally opened his eyes, blinking
painfully. They still smarted, but someone must have rinsed them out and
washed his face; the annoying burning sensation was nothing like the
engulfing fire it had been at the hotel.
He glanced around quickly, taking in his
He was in a car-- a limo, he corrected himself,
glaring at the people seated across from him. The windows were tinted,
making it impossible to see anything outside with the moon hidden behind
the clouds. He carefully tested his restraints, eyeing his captors
There was a man sitting beside him; a big man,
nursing his knee every now and then and glowering darkly at Wufei. His
first attacker. Across from him was a woman and another man. All of them
were dressed in black suits.
The woman was pretty, but her face and smile were
cold as marble. "Back with us at last, Mr. Chang?" she said primly, her
markedly accented voice labeling her as a colonist. She was Chinese,
but Wufei wasn't sure whether it was revelent or not. He ignored her,
glancing at the man at her side.
He was fixing his tie carefully, offering Wufei a
disdainful look. The brass knuckles on his hand explained the hit that
had done Wufei in.
The woman seemed amused by Wufei's cold silence, and
leaned over slightly to retrieve a bag from the floor. "We found this
in your room. Yours, I assume?"
Wufei lurched forward before he could stop himself.
The man next to him hauled him effortlessly back. "Let go of that,"
Wufei snarled. "What do you want?"
The woman didn't even look up at him, busy rooting
idly through the bag's contents. She took out the sheathed dirk and
examined it casually before handing it to the man beside her. "How
quaint," she mumbled, smiling chillingly. She tossed clothes onto the floor
carelessly, and Wufei watched in tense silence as the rolled-up blanket
went onto the floor as well, mistaken for another item of clothing.
His breath caught sharply when the woman reached the bottom of the bag
and gave a small sigh of triumph.
"What have we here?" she chuckled, drawing out the
wrapped stick. She tore the paper from it and held the strange object
up for the others to see. "Well, well. I certainly didn't expect to
find you with this. I'd wondered where it had gotten to." She
arched a brow at her glowering captive. "Mind explaining what you're
doing with this?"
"What's all this about?" Wufei demanded, ignoring
the pointed question. "Who the hell are you? What do you want with
"We really don't have time for your games, Mr.
Chang," the woman sighed in mock regret. She uncrossed her legs and settled
the heel of one of her stilletos in Wufei's stomach, slowly applying
pressure. "Enough with the innocent boy next door act. If you just
cooperate, things will be much easier for all of us. Especially you."
Wufei offered a rather rancid reply in Mandarin.
The woman gave another chilling smile and dug her heel painfully into
Wufei's stomach. He grunted, but didn't avert his narrowed eyes from
She chuckled and offered the carved stick to the man
beside her, who accepted it gravely. "What do you think, Tom?" she
The man inspected the stick carefully, running his
fingers along the strange symbols in it and rubbing the red pommels with
his thumb. "I think he's lying," he answered in a dead voice.
"I think you're right," the woman said brightly,
digging her heel further into Wufei's stomach.
Wufei hissed sharply, jerking his arms reflexively
in an attempt to retaliate. "I don't know anything," he snapped. "And
even if I did, did you think I would be scared into talking to lowlife
"Oh, we don't mean to scare you," the woman said,
opening her eyes wide in mock surprise. She leaned over so her face was
close to his, the movement pressing her heel harder into his abdomen.
"We mean to hurt you," she admitted in a husky whisper. "Badly. You'd
be surprised the things people will say when their fingers are being
ripped out one.. by... one..."
Wufei glanced quickly at each of them, pushing back
his stirring uneasiness with anger. "I can't tell you anything if I
don't know anything," he said from behind clenched teeth.
"Now..." he leveled her with a hot glare. "Get your goddamn foot off me
before I break it off."
The woman offered him a slow smile, as if somehow
pleased at his answer, then jerked her foot, slamming her heel into his
ribs. He doubled over with a grunt, the air driven from his lungs, and
she pulled her foot back smoothly, crossing her legs once more.
"He'll talk," the neanderthal beside Wufei grunted,
cracking his knuckles ominously. "Don't you worry about that. Gimmie
ten minutes with him, and he'll tell you where his grandpappy hides his
life savings if it'll make the pain go away."
"No doubt," the man-- Tom --said coolly, still
looking at Wufei in distaste.
Wufei glowered at them all and remained silent,
wracking his brain for an escape plan. At the same time he wondered if
Heero and Duo had gotten away safely. Had they managed to slip past these
goons? Or were their bodies lain out in the hotel parking lot like
sacks of garbage? He shied away from that thought hastily, focusing
instead on the ropes on his wrists. He began working at them, struggling to
keep his arms as still as possible to keep from betraying him.
His eyes were still stinging a little, and he
blinked slowly to keep them moistened. At least they'd had the decency to
wash them out for him...
And for the first time in his life, the memory of
his dream came crashing down on him, almost making him gasp out loud.
The circumstances were just similar enough-- his
eyes hurt by the gas and by the sand in his face --to make something in
his mind click. Staring wide-eyed at the floor to hide some of the
astonishment on his face, he eagerly went over the dream in his head. If he
was remembering this one, would he start to remember the others he'd
had? The doctor might have been right, after all. He might still be
able to regain his memories through dream sequences.
This one had been about a fight. No, a practice
fight. And some kid... "Zhao" ...had thrown dirt in his eyes to blind
him. Zhao, Zhao.. he played with the name a few times. The name was
unfamiliar to him, but it did spark a feeling of loathing in him. Whether
it was residue feelings from the dream, or a forgotten emotion for a
boy he no longer remembered, he couldn't be sure. And there had been
some kind of "Master"... his trainer? An honorable man. He hadn't stood
for Zhao's tricks. Neither had....
Wufei felt his heart thump in his ears, and
The face in his dream had been unclear, but his
dream self-- his child self --had known exactly who he was talking to.
He'd felt it throughout the dream, knowing just where his friend would be
sitting, knowing of course only Heero would be bull-headed enough to
break the rules and run out into the ring just to check on him.
No way. Wufei shook his head internally in wild
disbelief. Could it have been just his imagination? Had he been unable
in his subconscious to provide the memory of a name with that childhood
friend, and so had used a random name from his present? It was
But if not, it could mean Heero wasn't blowing smoke
out of his ass, after all. He'd said they'd grown up together.
Perhaps there was some truth to it after all.
Wufei was startled out of his musings when the
driver pulled the car off the road and shut off the engine. The man at his
side seized his upper arm, booted open the car door, and dragged him
Wufei gasped as the cold night air struck his bare
upper body. He'd only gone to bed in a pair of thin sleeping pants, and
he barely managed to suppress a shiver as the breeze played along his
chest and arms, finding its way through the material of his pants to
make even his legs cold. His bare feet quickly became numb with cold,
which was just as well, as walking on the rocks and glass no doubt
scattered all over the side of the road would have made walking very painful
They'd stopped at a rest stop-- a small one, barely
visible through the trees along the side of the road. There was only
one other car parked there, and only one of the streetlights worked.
There were one or two benches in the grass, a porta-potty... and a small
group of men and women in suits standing not far from the other car,
watching him keenly.
Tom and the Chinese woman got gracefully out of the
limo and led the way, while their hulking partner dragged Wufei along.
Wufei, stumbling a little with cold and still trying to see properly,
didn't have the chance to put up much of a struggle. He concentrated
instead on his bound wrists, wriggling his arms in the hopes of slipping
one hand free. His hands were admittedly smaller than most, himself
being young and Asian, and he was hoping to find slack in the ropes
The thug who was man-handling him pulled him up
short in front of the new group of Suits, and Wufei took a moment to look
They all looked very grim and business-like, but the
rigid way they stood reminded Wufei somehow of Hilde's ROTC friends.
Two women and three men, several of them holding portfolios or
briefcases. Glancing around at his captors, Wufei wondered for the umpteenth
time just who the hell they were and what they could possibly want with
The man who looked to be in charge of the rest of
them gazed down at Wufei thoughtfully, brows arched as if he expected
Wufei to start performing tricks like a circus monkey. "Chang Wufei, I
presume?" he inquired politely.
Wufei offered his best insulting, arrogant look, and
The man's mouth quirked in a sardonic smile, and he
turned cold gray eyes on Wufei's captors. "How do we know it's
Tom made a motion with his hand, and the one holding
Wufei suddenly spun him around so his back was facing the crowd. A
hard hand on his neck applied pressure, forcing him to almost bend over
double-- Wufei sputtered in outrage, feeling his face heat up, before he
felt the hands on his back and realized what they were doing. His
blood ran cold as calloused fingers traced the shape on his lower back he'd
puzzled over many times in the mirror back home.
"He has the Mark," the gray-eyed man affirmed,
fingers moving delicately over Wufei's skin as he examined the small tattoo.
"It's genuine. No one can fake or replicate this kind of Mark."
There were murmurs of approval, and Wufei was let up
and spun around again. Face red with fury and embarrassment, Wufei had
to bite his tongue to keep his words in check as he glared up at the
man staring coolly down at him.
"He's just a child," one of the new women noted.
Not in the "oh the poor thing" tone, or even the "be careful with him"
one. It was clinical. An observation. More like "what's the big deal
Wufei wished he knew the answer.
"Good job, Lin," the gray eyed man said brusquely
with a cursory glance towards the Chinese woman who'd so intimately
introduced her stilletos to Wufei's abdomen not twenty minutes earlier.
"We'll take it from here."
"Not so fast, Phillips," Lin interrupted smoothly,
wrapping hard, cold fingers around Wufei's upper arm to hold him back.
"You're not taking all the credit for this just because you were the
ones who picked him up. We're the ones that finally nabbed this brat.
We're going with you. The rewards promised were enticing, indeed. I
wouldn't want any of you to be tempted by greed into 'accidentally'
leaving out names in the debrief."
The others bristled, but Phillips only smiled
condescendingly at Lin, gray eyes cold and hard as gems. Wufei worked harder
at his ropes.
"Besides, we have more than just the boy," Tom added
smoothly. "Something just as valuable." He swung Wufei's bag back and
forth enticingly. Wufei realized he was referring to the strange
Phillips eyed the bag, looking unimpressed. "Such
"Something thought to be missing," Lin said
mysteriously, smiling sweetly, "that I'm sure Treize-sama will be very happy to
get his hands on."
Wufei stopped struggling, his breath catching in his
throat like a stone.
'Treize-sama'? Treize Kushrenada-- he was
the one behind these goons in suits? Wufei stared numbly up at his
captors, feeling even more lost and wildly confused than ever. Why would a
general-- the general --be interested in some random Chinese kid
with amnesia? Or a decorative stick, for that matter?
Wufei twisted his arms painfully in a sudden
desperate attempt to free himself. Whatever they had planned for him, he
didn't feel like sticking around to find out.
He felt a rush of adrenaline and relief when at long
last he wrenched one hand free of the ropes, leaving a good deal of
flesh behind and a numb feeling, but still giving him back his primary
weapons. He kept his hands behind his back to hide the fact that he was
free, glancing around for a means of escape.
No doubt they all had guns. There were trees, but
would he make it to cover before they gunned him down?
"Marco!" sang a cheerful voice from the shadows of
the trees to his right, causing everyone to freeze momentarily in
surprise and confusion.
"Polo," came a grim voice from surprisingly close,
on the left road side.
Wufei didn't stop to think. He let his legs
collapse and hit the dirt.
An instant later gunfire ripped the air, and the
Suits screamed in shock and outrage, diving for cover. One of the women
fell dead, and a man collapsed writhing, cursing floridly as he clapped
a hand to an arm darkened with blood. Wufei, hands over his head,
chanced a glance upwards and saw Tom scrambling for the limo, bag still in
Bullets still whistled through the air, two guns
covering two sides, careful to avoid each other to prevent friendly fire.
Wufei didn't stop to let himself feel relieved the other two had
finally caught up with him. Trusting Heero to recognize him and not gun him
down, he sprang to his feet and raced after Tom.
He caught up quickly; Tom was ducking and weaving to
avoid getting shot, while Wufei was running right at him. He took the
older man down with a furious kick to the lower back that sent him
sprawling in the dirt with a cry of pain.
He got back up quicker than Wufei had expected,
swinging the bag like a weapon at Wufei's head. Wufei ducked nimbly and
shot a fist into the man's face, causing Tom to stumble back with a
grunt. Wufei seized the bag in one hand and found the pressure point in
Tom's wrist with the other, causing him to release his prize with a squeal
of pain. Slinging the bag over his shoulder, Wufei spun in the same
movement, delivering a furious round-house kick to the side of Tom's head
that sent him crashing into the limo. A moment later he slumped to the
Shrugging the other strap over his shoulder, Wufei
looked around quickly. The others had managed to get in their car and
were already peeling off. One of the back windows was down, and Lin was
leaning out of it, face contorted in rage and hate as she fired
repeatedly in Wufei's direction. He leapt for cover behind the limo, but one
of the stray shots struck him high on the shoulder, and the force of
the blow spun him around, throwing him to the ground. Gasping with pain,
he struggled into a sitting position and quickly clapped a hand to the
wound, gritting his teeth hard in an attempt to focus.
The car sped off, tires squealing, and the gunshots
from the road and the woods finally stopped. There was blissful
silence for a moment, and Wufei slumped against the limo's tire, panting
harshly and gazing up at the star-strewn sky as he struggled to let relief
soothe back his pumping adrenaline.
There was a rustle in the bushes, and Wufei scooted
around the car a little to see his rescuers better.
Duo emerged from the treeline, spinning a pair of
automatic pistols in his hands expertly. He was wearing a shit-eating
grin, his face lit up with the wild savage joy of the hunt. Looking at
him, tense and eager, eyes glowing with triumph and bloodlust, Wufei
thought he understood at last why Heero had warned him never to piss the
laughing jokster off.
"Hey, buddy!" Duo called cheerfully. "Good thing
you had the brains to get your head down in time. Sorry we took so
Wufei offered the other boy a carefully bored look.
"I could have handled it."
Duo just laughed happily, still crackling with
Heero appeared silently from the trees blocking the
roadside, holstering his own firearm, eyes skipping quickly about to
take in the fallen enemies before turning his full attention on Wufei.
"You're hurt," he said unnecessarily as he came close enough to see the
blood-- black in the moonlight --dripping down Wufei's arm.
Wufei grimaced up at him, still clutching the wound
in a numbing grip. "Good of you to notice." He struggled to get to his
feet, and Heero moved forward as if to help. At a warning glare from
Wufei, however, he was smart enough to step back.
Once Wufei had regained his feet, along with his
dignity, he walked around to the other side of the limo to look down at
Tom's crumpled body.
"Still alive, yeah?" Duo came up, holstering his
weapons before dropping to a crouch by the unconscious man to check for a
"Of course," Wufei snapped. "I need someone
to tell me what the hell's going on."
Duo hesitated, glancing up at Heero. "Yeah. Good
thinking. Don't worry, me and 'Ro can get 'im to talk." He made a
"gimmie" motion with his hands, and Wufei released his wound long enough to
unwrap the ropes from his wrists and hand them over.
While Duo bound up their hostage, Heero did a quick
check to make sure the three Suits that had been gunned down were in
fact dead before returning to Wufei's side. "Let me see it," he
commanded, placing a hand on Wufei's shoulder and staring intently at the blood
seeping from under Wufei's white-knuckled grip. When Wufei only glared
stubbornly, he said firmly, "I need to wrap it and stop the
Wufei reluctantly lowered his bloodied hand,
breathing sharply through his nose at the pain that was running up and down
his arm like wildfire.
Heero pulled the jeep keys from his pocket and used
the tiny penlight on the keychain to inspect the wound carefully.
"..Damn," he muttered under his breath.
"What?" Wufei demanded quickly.
"The bullet's still in there," Heero answered
absently, handing over the penlight and going behind Wufei to dig quickly
through the pack on his back. "You're lucky it didn't break your shoulder
Duo got to his feet, dusting dirt off his knees and
reaching out to poke at the bruise in Wufei's ribs from Lin's
stilletos. "They rough you up a little?" he asked curiously.
Wufei flinched away from the touch, scowling at the
other boy. "Stop it."
"Knock it off, Duo," Heero said shortly, pushing the
braided boy aside and holding one of Wufei's shirts. He quickly tore
the shirt in two and began wrapping it securely around the wound. "We
need to get out of here," he stated. "We'll take care of this better
when we're at a safer place."
"Lucky for you, Heero's fancy-schmancy military
training included first aid," Duo chuckled.
"Is surgery part of that?" Wufei managed to gasp
from behind clenched teeth. "If the bullet's still in there..."
"I'll get it out," Heero said firmly. He hesitated,
glancing at Wufei's face. "But I don't have any anesthetics on
"I don't care," Wufei interrupted. "Just get the
damn thing out of me."
"Aa." Heero finished wrapping the arm and wiped the
blood on his hands off on his jeans absently.
"I'll go get the jeep," Duo offered, jerking a thumb
over his shoulder. "We had to park it about a mile away to keep them
from hearing the engine. I'll be back in a sec." He jogged off,
humming brightly to himself.
There was an awkward silence after he left, with
Wufei picking idly at the bandage and Heero staring blindly down at Tom's
"...Did they do anything to you?" Heero asked at
last, voice brisk and inflectionless.
Wufei shrugged with his good shoulder, wishing
desperately he'd thought to pack a bottle of aspirin in his bag. "Not
really. Mostly just talked a lot." He eyed Heero narrowly. "They're
working for Treize," he said bluntly.
Heero's eyes shot towards him before he could stop
himself. He averted his eyes quickly, face unreadable. "They said
"They mentioned bringing me to him," Wufei growled.
"Why didn't you tell me? These idiots are working for Treize
Kushrenada?? What the hell would the 'hero of earth' want with me?"
"For you to say," Wufei finished coldly. "Right. I
get it." He turned his back on Heero, glaring furiously at the treeline
as he struggled to control his temper. "How do I know you're even on
the right side?" he demanded. "Last time I checked, Treize wasn't a
villain. Maybe it's him I'm supposed to be with."
"With?" Heero repeated a little sharply.
Wufei glanced back at him in irritated puzzlement at
the tone, but Heero quickly controlled himself. "He isn't the one you
need to trust," he said firmly. "Treize himself isn't... a 'villain',
but the men and women who work for him will do anything necessary to
get him what he wants. And right now that happens to be you." He scowled
"How would you know what his intentions are?" Wufei
"...We've talked," Heero admitted grudgingly,
scowling again as he glared at something Wufei couldn't see. "He's honorable
enough in his own way, but that doesn't mean those who are loyal to him
have the same scruples. He may want you in one piece, and he would
prefer you went to him willingly, but these people..." he toed Tom's
crumpled form, "don't care what state you're in, as long as you're still
breathing when they bring you to him."
"Why?" Wufei demanded harshly. "What the hell's so
damned important about me? I'm nothing special. Unless this
Kushrenada guy is in desperate need of someone with good grades and some
self-defense knowledge in his retinue, I don't see what the hell he'd
want with some random teenage boy."
"You're not random," Heero corrected, voice a little
quieter. "There are plenty of people who have skills and brains. He
doesn't care about that-- it's just a bonus. He wants you?"
"Why me?" Wufei nearly shouted. "What's the big
deal with me? I'm nobody! I'm not anything important!"
"...Not yet," Heero said, tone so low Wufei almost
didn't catch the words.
Wufei peered at him suspiciously. "What the hell's
that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing." Heero's face was impossible to read once
more, his tone business-like. The sound of the jeep's engine could be
heard approaching. "Ride in the passenger seat; you'll jolt around too
much in the back. Duo and I will get this man in the car."
Wufei wanted to beat some answers out of Heero, but
just then Duo screeched up in the jeep. "Everybody in the pool," he
chortled, grinning at them through the windshield. "I think it's time to
get the fuck outta dodge before reinforcements show up."
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